Friday, August 18, 2017

five on friday

Hey, friends! Raise your glass (coffee counts) to another week in the books!

O N E || 

Do you ever take a picture and fall so hard in love with it that you want to use it everywhere?

That's my exact feelings about this picture that Lilli and I took on Sunday. I think it'll even be my blog photo for a while until I can reschedule my photo shoot!


love.it.so.much.

My top is from H&M, my jeans are from THIS boutique (size up), Lilli's outfit is from Old Navy, and her bow is from THIS shop.

T W O ||

We are celebrating the (hopefully) last weeks of summer with a new pool! Yep, I know it's August. Buuuuut I got it 70% off because I waited until the end of summer to purchase it. :) #win


Only downfall: literally took 12 years off of my life to blow this thing up. And that's with using the air compressor. Think it'll make it through the winter if we don't deflate it?

T H R E E ||

I found a pair of boyfriend jeans from Old Navy on Poshmark (use code JGRRI for $5 credit), and I love the way they fit; however, they weren't distressed enough for me for a pair of boyfriend jeans.

So I followed THIS tutorial and distressed a couple areas. It took forever but I love the way they turned out! I might do more later, but my fingers were too sore to do anymore this time.



F O U R ||

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this photo in my story.


I 99% sure I've decided on number two! What do you think??

Ps... these are from Stikwood.

F I V E ||

A friend on IG posted THESE jeans on her stories, and I fell in love with them for fall! I love Old Navy's Rockstar Jeans and this color is so pretty. I'm thinking I might snag a pair before fall begins!

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Seven Bible Verses for the Worrying Heart

Hey, friends!

If you saw my last post or follow along with me on social media, then you may have seen that my life if full of worry right now. 

When there are more questions than answers in this life – heck, even when we do have answers – It’s all too easy to let worry creep into our minds and invade our thoughts.

However, we are so blessed that worry doesn’t have a hold on us, and that we serve a God who is bigger than it all – even our worry.


Then next time you find yourself in the pit of worry, let one (or all) of these verses flood your mind instead.


"Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." 
Matthew 6:34


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." 
Proverbs 3:5


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7


"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"
Luke 12:25


"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Matthew 11:28-29


"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid."
John 14:27


"cast all of your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

What is your favorite verse to meditate on when worry is flooding your mind? 

pin for later!



[ disclaimer: you may use these photos as you wish; however, please do not remove my watermark as I created these images for your creative use. ]

Friday, August 11, 2017

what I've learned from the last two weeks

I took this photo two weeks ago. I don't know why I never posted it because I actually quite like it.
I'm glad I never found the time to post it, though, because it brought so much conviction when my eyes landed on that photo today.


Two weeks seems like such an insignificant amount of time. But my life, in so many ways, has changed since the moment I snapped this photo two weeks ago.

Since the time I took this photo, I've spent a handful of days the in hospital. I've been in greater pain that I have ever been in my life. I've been given three different diagnoses, from pancreatitis to a small bowel blockage to a motility disorder. I've spent half of those two weeks surviving on a full liquid diet. I've been filled with the fear that I'll never eat solid food again, and even worse, I'll have to be fed via a feeding tube. I have felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, the guilt of being a sub par wife and mom literally tearing me apart. I've spent afternoons crying when Lilli refuses to nap, blaming myself that it's somehow my fault. I've gotten behind in the blogging world, on writing deadlines, on school work because I'm struggling to get the laundry done, let alone find the energy to do all of that in the same day. I've felt frustration. I've felt anger. I've felt hopelessness. I've felt sadness. I've felt worry. I've felt pure and raw emotions overflowing from every fiber of my being.

But there has been one thing that has not changed in the last two weeks, and as I have been reminded, will never change.

Jesus has never left my side. Jesus will never leave my side.

I have cried out to Jesus in the last two weeks more than I have in a really long time. I have cried out to Him to help me through this difficult time. To fill me with His strength that I am unable to muster on my own. To comfort me when my body is screaming out with anxiety, pain, and frustration. To constantly remind me who He has been, who He is, and who He will be.

And He has.

I know that I have no reason to worry, because I am safe in His arms. I know that I have no reason to fear, because I am safe in His arms.

Dear friends, this life will never be without troubles. We will always fall short of the Glory of God. We will always fail when chose to depend on our own strength versus submerging ourselves in His love.

But we will never be without Jesus.

He has been and will be with us each and every time we are hurting, fearing, worrying, breaking, or crying. And He will be there again when we find the joy that only He can provide.

Rest in that steady comfort, friends, that you are never without Jesus.

"...and Jesus, I need You. Every moment I need You. Hear now, this grace bought heart sing out Your praise forever..."
"Jesus I Need You" by Hillsong Worship

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

toddler nap time routine for successful naps

*disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase from one of the links via my blog posts, I will receive a small compensation for that purchase. This is at no additional cost to you. I hope you'll continue to visit Littles and Life!

Happy Wednesday, friends! We are half way through the week!

Can you guess how I'm able to write this post right now?

I'll give you a hint: nap time.


shirt || bow
Between blogging and school, I need nap time to not only blog more than once every six months but to also not fail out of school. Nap time is a necessity.

We struggled for a looooong time with Lilli's naps. We even hired a sleep therapist at one point (and nope, don't regret it for one moment). One piece of advice that she gave me that helped tremendously: routine.

I crave routine, and I learned very quickly that Lilli does, too. Once we started a nap time/bed time routine, Lilli very quickly grasped the fact that once that routine starts, it's time for bed. Period.

Now, don't get me wrong. Sometimes she has off days and won't nap and we are both crying by the end of the day. #onlykindofkidding.

But, 90% of the time, Lilli goes down to bed around 1:30 in the afternoon, and sleeps until 4 pm.

I know, right?! I'm very proud of her accomplishments.

Anyway, what is this routine that I speak of?! Here is our nap time and bed time routine that we follow for successful naps and nights:

O N E || Lilli always needs a full belly before laying down, and we usually eat lunch anywhere between 11:30-12:30. I always give her plenty of time to eat so I’m not rushing her to get her down for a nap. She also needs a bit to be upright after she eats so her acid reflux doesn’t kick in. 

T W O || After we eat lunch, we sit down and doing something quiet, like read or play with a quiet toy. She needs that time to calm down before her nap, otherwise, she has a hard time settling down at nap time.

T H R E E || I let her play for usually 15-ish minutes, and then we do a diaper change and brush her teeth. Afterward, we go to her bedroom to get ready for bed. We turn on her sound machine and get her essential oils diffusing (lavender is our go-to). We use a sound machine that used to be my mom’s, but they sell them everywhere. I've linked a couple down below!

F O U R || We always try to have Lilli in bed by 1:30 at the latest, before she gets overtired and makes it harder for her to fall asleep. We lay her down, and cover her up with a blanket. We turn on her night light (I've linked similar down below), and we let her have a couple books in bed because she likes to read to sleep, and she likes reads a book when she wakes up. We always sing “Jesus Loves Me”, give kisses, and then it’s time to go “night night”. 

We use this same routine during bedtime, except its dinner instead of lunch, and we throw a bath in after dinner versus playtime. :)

What is a must in your nap time or bed time routine?


save this post for your next nap time!



Monday, July 31, 2017

progress report || our front landscaping

*disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase from one of the links via my blog posts, I will receive a small compensation for that purchase. This is at no additional cost to you. I hope you'll continue to visit Littles and Life!

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend??

I took these pictures forever ago (okay, maybe only a few weeks ago - but it feels like forever ago!), and I forgot to share them with you all!!

We are finally almost done with our landscaping. We still have a few more things to do, but for now, we are happy with it!

mat


I want to get some sort of chair or cute little table for the corner where the bucket of flowers are. Any suggestions?!
We are also going to eventually paint our door a new color. More on that later!


I need to seriously do a tutorial on that Welcome sign. It was so easy and I love it.




Isn't this flower box just the cutest thing?! Kyle made it for me and I'm obsessed! We aren't staining it because the wood is water- and rot-resistant, and I love the natural color of the wood!



This is the area that I still need to work on the most. Where the mulch/blocks round, I want to put a small tree in the corner, but I haven't found one that I love yet. Any suggestions?!





I know it doesn't look super great yet, but it looks much better than it did before! I really wish I had a before picture because it was so plain compared to now!

Do you have any extra suggestions of what I could do further?? I'd love to hear them! :)



Friday, July 28, 2017

five on friday

Hi, friends! Happy Friday!

It's been a crazy week this week, and it flew by!

O N E || to grandma's house we go


One of the reasons this week went by so fast: we spent the first three days of the week at grandma's house! It's always so nice to have the extra help, and I got so much homework done that I would have had to stuff into nap times and late nights. But it's always hard leaving when it's time to go.

T W O || the bachelorette

If you saw my rant the other day, then you know how upset I am with this season. But I couldn't stop myself from watching this weeks episode, even though it made me even more upset that she sent Dean home.

T H R E E || brussel sprouts


Sooo you're totally going to laugh at me, but Kyle and I have never had brussel sprouts before. Haha! We tried them for the first time this week, and they weren't terrible, but I don't think I'd ever be like, "I want brussel sprouts!" What do you guys think of them?

F O U R || is it fall yet?

via
Guys. I'm so so so so so ready for fall. I'm not a summer person in general, but I'm incredibly ready for fall. It's too hot, humid, and did I mention hot? I don't know how you southerners do it!

F I V E || turning two


I'm already in party planning mode because Lilli turns TWO in just two months!! I have a secret Pinterest board and everything already. ;) Tell me - what is a must-have or must-do for second birthday parties?? Last year, Lilli was so young that she couldn't do much. I'm so excited to see her excitement this year, especially because her theme is one of her favorite things ever. Can you guess?

Have a lovely weekend!!!


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

charming charlie semi-annual sale haul

*disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase from one of the links via my blog posts, I will receive a small compensation for that purchase. This is at no additional cost to you. I hope you'll continue to visit Littles and Life!

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? I hope you answered fabulous. We attended a wedding this weekend, and spent the day with family and friends. It's always a good weekend when there's a wedding involved. :)

Anyway, do you all shop at Charming Charlie?? If you don't, you need to.


Charming Charlie is most definitely on my top list of favorite stores to shop at. They always have good deals, and I can never walk in without buying something. Everything is sooo cute.

They just hosted their semi-annual sale recently and they had the best deals. I scored stuff for as cheap as $0.49! 
Because I super love you guys, I've linked all the products so you can shop them for yourselves because almost everything is still on sale for their previous sale price. :)

Top row: I love necklaces, and I'm finally getting to the point where I can wear them without (a ton) of fear of Lilli breaking them. (ps... mama's, check out The Vintage Honey Shop if you have this problem!). I'm obsessed with the navy one and the silver one (which I got in rose gold and you can see in my photo). The sunglasses are also a total win - you can also see me wearing them in my photo!

Middle row: The pink bracelet is by far my favorite thing I purchased. It's so so so pretty in person. The bangles and the watch are also a perfect addition to my jewelry stash. I've been on the hunt for a chic but simple watch, and I'm so glad I finally find one!

Last row: I wear bobby pins constantly, but plain black can get so boring and can be a pain to hide if need be. These two sets of bobby pins will sooo come in handy. You can find the arrow one here and the embellished ones here. The belt is super versatile, and I can envision it with some of my fall outfits!


I absolutely can't wait for fall so I can wear that purple sweater and those rust tights!! (not together, of course, no no no) I'm wearing the pink peplum top in my photo!


Also scored this super pretty contact carrying case (comes with contact storage and solution bottle). Fantastic idea for those who wear contacts and get tired of digging in travel bags when they leave home, no?

Seriously snagged all of this (plus four Christmas gifts that aren't listed here) for under $100. win win win win win.

Have a beautiful day, friends!




Monday, July 24, 2017

why the bachelorette made me upset

*do not read if you haven’t caught up on the current Bachelorette series because this contains spoilers!!*

When I think about Monday’s, three things usually come to mind: coffee, fresh start, and the Bachelorette.

While I think the base line of the Bachelor/Bachelorette is kind of far-fetched (not judging anyone who gets engaged quickly; I just think the majority of this show is meant for publicity, not for someone to find love), I do enjoy watching it and listening to my husband make fun of this guy getting punched or this girl throwing a tantrum worthy of a two-year-old’s trophy.

But, this last week made me rethink how I feel about the Bachelor series.

I know this could sound silly to those from a different background than me, and that’s fine. I understand that we are all different and that’s what makes our stories unique. But to me, it wasn’t silly. Not at all.

Last week we watched as Rachel attended hometowns, specifically Dean’s. I like Rachel, and I think she’s a great woman. But I don’t think she fully understood what was being asked of Dean to attend his hometown during the show, with a billion people watching.

I come from a family that was torn to shreds a long time ago. I’m not just talking about my parents being divorced, although that certainly isn’t a small thing. I’m talking about a family that literally tore each other to shreds every moment they got and made my life a living hell until I “escaped” when I put my foot down and walked away. Not looking for a pity party here, just giving background to why this show affected me how it did.

Anyway, back to the point.

During the last show, it was clear that Dean wanted nothing to do with going back to his hometown. While I don’t personally know Dean or the specific details of his feelings, I do know what it’s like to be submerged into family issues unwillingly.

I felt incredibly sad for him, knowing that he had to do this not only to stay on the show, but in front of thousands and thousands of people that were watching the most personal moment of his life aired on TV.

If you watched the episode, then you know it didn’t go well. It was very apparent that Dean was hurt, angry, and frustrated by the time the night was over. However, I had some hope left for the evening when he told Rachel he was falling in love with her, and she responded with something similar.

At the end of the show, you can just ask Kyle: I was literally praying that Rachel wouldn’t send him home, not because I wanted him to stay on the show (which I did, I like him better than everyone but Peter), but because I could only imagine how he felt going through allllll of that mess with his parents, and then having to go home as if it were all for nothing.

And what’ll you know, Rachel sent him home.

I know Rachel feels the way Rachel feels, and I’m not blaming Rachel for sending him home (although I think it was crap that she told him, in so many words, that she was starting to fall for him and then turned around with BYE FELICIA) but anyway.

I think it was really, really horrible that ABC made Dean go through hometowns, on public television, and rip that bandaid off a wound the size of texas... for what? Rachel to send him home to deal with both a broken family and a broken heart??

I knowwww, I just know that some of you are shaking your heads that I’m being silly. "It's just a TV show," I can hear you say.

Well it's not just a TV show when you're talking about someone's broken family. If you have come from a family that didn’t hold up the definition of “family”, well then, I think you just might understand.

Basically, what I’m saying here, is that the network went too far in the name of publicity. If Rachel and Dean ended up together in the end, her meeting his family should have been reserved for afterwards and not with cameras watching their every move. 

I haven’t been watching this show for a super long time, so I don’t know if there has been any situations like this before, but I think an exception could have been made. 

Again, this is just how I feel and it may have hit me harder than it should. But yeah, I'm upset by the situation.

If you watch the Bachelorette, how did you feel about Dean's hometown episode??


Friday, July 21, 2017

ritz sprinkle treat recipe

So I know I’m like way late in posting this recipe, but between motherhood, school, school, and revamping my blog, can you blame me?? And anyway, you can totally make these for any holiday/event. Just change the color of the sprinkles to whatever look you’re going for!


I made these for the Fourth of July and they were a hit. I snuck a few in before our parties to make sure, you know, that they were still okay and all. ;) They. Are. So. Yummy. Just warning you in advance - you can’t have just one.


And with only three ingredients, it’s a must when you’re in a pinch for a quick, easy, and fun dessert.


What You Need
  • - a box of Ritz crackers
  • - white melting chocolate or white chocolate chips
  • - sprinkles

Directions

  1. Start by unwrapping your Ritz crackers and place them on a plate so they are not overlapping. When you finish with the white chocolate and sprinkles, you’ll want them to lay until they harden without touching each other. Having the plates out in advance makes it so much easier so you’re not running around trying to find a clean plate at the last minute.
  2. When you’ve finished, start melting the white chocolate. You can use whatever method you prefer. A double broiler would come in super handy because the chocolate needs to stay melted throughout the whole process. White chocolate hardens extremely quickly, which is great until you’re trying to stick 25 or so crackers in the same batch. I don’t have a double broiler (hint hint, hubby), so I take a small pot and fill it with water, then I take another pot the same size or bigger and place it on top with the chocolate in it. I let the water come to a boil and stir the chocolate until it’s smooth. *hint, if you’re using white chocolate chips, adding a splash of milk helps with a creamier and smoother consistency.*
  3. When your white chocolate is as smooth as a baby’s butt, start dippin’ your crackers. I went about half way with each cracker.
  4. Immediately head to your sprinkle station. I dumped mine in a bowl and then laid the cracker in. You could also literally “sprinkle” them on the cracker.
  5. Lay them out to harden on the plates we talked about earlier. They should harden fairly quickly, but you’ll know when they are done, you know, when they are hard.
  6. Enjoy, but remember I forewarned you that they are addictive.